If you have only thought of Namibia as a desert land, then you are surely yet to go through an emotive tropical journey of this beautiful land. Located in the north eastern part of Namibia right in the heart of the Divundu area is the Popa Falls Resort which is one of the most enthralling sites in a country boasting an abundance of heart-stopping highlights. And if you have not yet made up your mind on your keDecember plans, check this one out.
Popa Falls was initially a bushy community place which was used by the community residents for fun, fruit gathering and traditional dances. It was initially named ‘Gonga’ which means a place where people can meet and have fun in the Thimbukushu dialect. Later on the place was named Popa which means ‘here’ depicting it as the only place; one could hear the sound of water, along the Okavango River.
In 1971 Popa became a Malaria camp where doctors would stay before they disperse to other places for their work. Later on, the nature conservation which was known as Natuur de Waal back then took the place under the Mahango Park which was then used as accommodation for the employees. In 1999 Popa became a Namibia Wildlife Resorts campsite with four wooden bungalows until its inauguration in 2013.
To date, the resort has ten chalets, three double units, four luxury units, ten campsites and a single bush chalet which all offer ultimate comfort and privacy. The sound of the falls at only a few hundred meters from the resort is the ideal soundtrack while you sit back and take in the views of the forests. One of the luxury units named ‘Elephant’ allows you to sit at the balcony while admiring the breathtaking view of the Okavango River.
Customer satisfaction comes first
The beautiful resort is defined by simplicity and run in a complete natural way. Popa recently won four leaves at the Eco Awards for its eco-friendly and ozone friendly maintenance. With a friendly staff of sixteen males and fifteen females, the resort is surely set to exceed ones expectations and provide them with unforgettable experiences. “In tourism you have to be diverse. When you serve a German speaking person you make sure that you serve him the German way and he feels at home; then you move to the next table where you serve someone from England and make sure that he gets what he wants. You are a chameleon; everybody has to feel at home. That’s one thing that gives us the passion,” exclaimed the acting Resort Manager Rebekka Horaes. She further states that they are privileged to be staying in the park which is very unique and beautiful. “So we keep smiling because there’s nothing to keep your smile away.”
The bar and restaurant offers a delicious array of drinking and dining options, thanks to the friendly and experienced chefs. The restaurant offers you a choice to have your meals inside or outside while admiring the rapids which exude a therapeutic ambience which only something natural can produce.
The resort also has a conference facility which takes up to a maximum of seventy five (75) people.
Game drives and river boat cruise
For a more fun and exciting adventure of Popa Falls, you may opt to go for a game drive which is a distance of 15 kilometers from the Popa Falls or a boat cruise along the Okavango River. It will be suitable to take on the game drive at the dawn of the day with the guidance of John who will tell you everything you wish to know about the park and its inhabitants. “Every part of the park is unique. If you go into Mahango Park it is where you are likely to see the Sable and the Roan antelopes which are very difficult to see in other national parks; whereas if you go into Buffalo Park, depending on the season, it is where you are likely to see a very big herd of Buffalos. At some point, they can be a herd of about thousands of them just on the pan or in the shallow waters. But it’s more exciting when you watch them on the plain areas,” said John.
The game drive also offers you a very good chance to spot four of the big fives which are namely the Buffalos, Elephants, Leopards and the Lions. If you are lucky you might get a sight of lions trying to hunt although it is difficult to spot them due to the density of the Park. Apart from Zebras, Wildebeests and Impalas the Wild dogs are also some of the endangered species that can be seen during the drives.
Just before sundown you may choose to go for a boat cruise with Lawrence Kumbwa who has the knowledge of the river and like the palm of his hand. During the cruise, it is a given that you will see the Hippos, crocodiles and flock of beautiful indigenous birds up in the skies such as the Rock Pranticles, African Darta, African fish eagles and Water Derkopp amongst the others.
Don’t be trapped in the delusion of unaffordability and embark on an adventure to discover the breathtaking sight that Popa Falls has to offer. Rebekka advises parents to travel with their kids to teach and instill the love of tourism in them from the start. “Let’s do the bookings, let’s pack our bags and let’s hit the roads this December,” said the resort head.
So where to this festive season? – Popa Falls Resort. It’s green; it’s peaceful, and it’s right out there waiting for you to discover it.